With reference to manuscripts, does 'ensuring pagination' only mean that each page is numbered, or does it mean that lines are numbered as well? Is there an equivalent word/phrase for numbering lines?

The question is about the general use of the term, rather than a journal/publisher specific requirement.

  • It is strange that the referee cares about pagination. The article will change a lot after copy editing into the journal format. Oct 13, 2021 at 6:30
  • @VladimirF- this is not a referee comment (yet atleast), rather a general instruction, i.e. 'Please ensure that your manuscript is paginated, as this will help both editors and reviewers to process it promptly.' Oct 13, 2021 at 8:38
  • 1
    Do you have a style guide you're following? This should normally explain about page and line numbering requirements. Without a style guide, you need to see how documents are commonly formatted.
    – Stuart F
    Oct 13, 2021 at 12:09
  • @StuartF- This instruction is from the style guide, leaving me a bit confused. I've seen other submission documents since, and their formats seem to be in line with the answers below. Oct 13, 2021 at 12:55

2 Answers 2


In general, proper, and precise usage:

  • Pagination (aka page breaking) refers only to the process of segregating content across pages.

  • Line breaking is a similar process of segregating content except across lines.

In both cases, the quality of the solutions to the problems is measured by computational efficiency and design aesthetic.

Both terms are orthogonal to numbering, referring to where to place breaks, not whether to number the resulting pages or lines.


  • Thanks, the references are useful! Oct 13, 2021 at 8:35

The term "pagination" refers to the process of separating content into distinct pages. Poor pagination occurs when content is cut-off in a strange way across pages ---e.g., the heading for a new section occurs on the last line of a page, a figure and its label are separated onto distinct pages, etc. If a referee is criticising your pagination it probably means that you have a part of your manuscript where you have something cut-off over pages in a way that looks strange.

  • 1
    Thank you! To clarify, is there no relation between pagination and actually numbering the pages? Oct 12, 2021 at 12:46
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    Not to my knowledge --- as I understand the term, page numbering is a separate issue.
    – Ben
    Oct 12, 2021 at 21:11
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    Consider a book or thesis - you'd paginate a chapter by splitting it into pages suitably, but the page numbering would only come when the chapters are assembled into a whole. This also applies to journal articles where each article starts at the top of a page; if articles can start partway through a page the journal will re-paginate. In practice they probably will anyway; some provide LaTeX classes that match the final pagination pretty well, though abstract books and proceedings of small conferences may use author-provided files as-is
    – Chris H
    Oct 13, 2021 at 8:54
  • In a comment the OP says "this will help both editors and reviewers to process it promptly.". That suggests to me that they're talking about page numbering, since they would be used to refer to the locations that a comment is about. Poor pagination just makes the document slightly harder to read.
    – Barmar
    Oct 13, 2021 at 14:24

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